Saturday 18th July 2015

Yesterday we had a busy day. Up bright and early for Physio appointment at 8am. Amy is very happy with my arm movement – the yoga and swimming are paying off. I will still have a physiotherapy appointment weekly while on radiotherapy as unfortunately this can tighten the skin but hopefully the cording will continue to ease. It’s getting better but still uncomfortable and can still be painful. I notice if I go to lift anything without thinking it pulls and hurts a lot. Time will heal!

So then straight to radiotherapy zapping! I am loving this – so interesting! The radiologists have said that they will show the kids a behind the scenes look at the equipment and explain some of the maths to the boys (they both love maths!) So educational too!!! I have been really honest and straight with the kids through all of this. I think it’s really important for them to see what’s going on. It makes it less scary if they understand – plus my kids are older (15, 12, 10) and clever!! You never know one of them may go on to be an amazing doctor, who knows!

The radiotherapy department is all brand new in Colchester – we are so lucky! It’s calming and more like a hotel. It doesn’t look like a hospital at all and I think this really makes a difference to everyone. It even has some lovely outdoor space…….

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Afterwards we had to whizz across town to Colchester County hospital to see Dr Chakravorty. He wanted to check out how the implant was doing and how my healing was coming along after surgery – it’s been 8 weeks now! He was very happy with his work. We also discussed surgery on the other boob – but this all depends on the results from gene testing still. But he has promised to even me up with an uplift if it stays! He has said I still need to be very careful with what I do so I don’t cause any damage or too much stretching to the reconstruction. So difficult as you get told all different stuff – so I am listening to my body – plus I don’t want to undo his good work! I feel delicate.

He has also advised me not to use oil for moisturising while having radiotherapy. I can use it on the rest of my body but not over the implant itself. The biomesh used in my reconstruction is quite a new thing so there isn’t much long term research available yet. I suppose I will be a part of the research for people to come – I’m booked in for some medical photographs soon too. He said that there has been some early evidence from some women that with radiotherapy + no fat with my skin preservation + biomesh and implant can cause the skin to become red and sore – more than on a person with no recon. So like I good girl I am listening to my consultant! He knows best and I totally trust him – I like this man more and more each time I get to see him. I could ask him questions all day long but I have to refrain! I really would drive him insane!!! He said I was a memorable patient! I am not sure if that was a compliment or not.

We also discussed the cost of my new boob! We worked it out to cost over £10K! I wonder if they recycle??? The biomesh itself is worth over £2k and my boob is only small – this makes it more expensive than gold! We got to this discussion as I asked if he had any lying around that I could see but he said he used it all up in my boob and that it was very expensive that you didn’t tend to waste any. I feel very privileged!

I think being a breast reconstruction consultant is a bit like being a taxidermist! You just use biomesh instead of chicken wire!

So I have my instructions and I am following. I am finding that the sun burns extra hot on my skin now so I am keeping completely covered. I go out looking like Carrie Mathieson from Homeland, but no I haven’t got time to go off and hunt Abu Nazir!!! I am now beyond caring what I look like! I am so glad Phil loves me for who I am and not how I look.

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Today I’ve been harvesting my aloe vera plants so I have some supplies if I get sore from any radiotherapy burning. It’s so natural and gentle and excellent for burns.

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First you slice off a few leaves – nice clean cuts with a knife, then the plant self heals itself! amazing! Never rip or tear!

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You need to carefully cut down each of the spiky edges of the leaf and then slice the green off. You are then left with a clear gel to scrape out – I use a spoon to do this

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I have put mine in ice cube trays and frozen so I can take out when I need and use on my skin to sooth. It’s a magic plant!

You can also put the gel into smoothies or tea – it is amazing for the digestive system. But best not to over do it – there is lots of stuff on the market now. I would always keep it as natural as possible.

Although I did pop into Holland and Barrett and purchase an Aloe soap – nice and gentle for my skin while having treatment and no nasty additives – only £2.99!

So resting this weekend, ready for a full week of treatment next week of rads, physio and photos. So glad it’s the school holidays as this is such a juggle!

This is my favourite quote at the moment:

Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible!

by Francis of Assisi

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